Tag Archives: Entertainment

You Are On The Naughty List

18 Dec

We took Isobel down Christmas tree lane this year, seeing as how she’s more sentient and sort of knows who Santa is. Based on her only experience with him it’s possible she thinks he’s a giant fire truck, with people inside, blaring loud Christmas music and handing out candy canes. After such a Santa visited our house before dinner one night she sobbed as we took her back inside. She kept saying, “Santa! Santa! Outside! Santa OUTSIDE!” We eventually had to convince her Santa was sleeping so we could finish making the macaroni and cheese. (From scratch – three cheeses , garlic and bacon. OMFG it was good. Like, Anthony and I made inappropriate noises while we ate it, good.)

Before hitting up the larger Christmas tree lane we investigated the smaller one not far from our house. This one’s unique because the neighbors got together and created a train track and a train that goes back and forth throughout the cul-de-sac.

Isobel admires Christmas lights from the car and when I pick her up from Grandma’s she eagerly points out all the houses that have lights on them as we drive home. If a couple houses go by with no lights she starts saying, “Lights! Where are you, lights?” It’s a-freaking-dorable.

Since the street is small and the night was quite warm (the pictured gloves and hat came off after about five minutes), we took a tour on foot so she could get close to the lights and explore.

The kid was impressed. And it was a welcome diversion considering that we spent our night as a family, wandering around different neighborhoods, entertaining our toddler FOR FREE. That’s a miracle at any time of the year, but doubly so in a cash-strapped month.

Then we headed to the larger Christmas tree lane. It was late and her little legs were tired so we pushed her around in the stroller. I only got one shot of her all bundled up, with a thrifted crocheted blanket in her stroller, but I used flash and she’s covering her eyes and making a pissed off face so I’ll spare you.

This Christmas tree lane had been decorating every year since before I was born. I remember visiting it as a child and looking for certain decorations year after year. This neighborhood had the works, lights timed to music, animatronic figures, a and a Santa, handing out candy canes.

Several families were also on foot and we even passed by our neighbors who live across the street, which was pretty funny. When we approached Santa he gave Isobel a candy cane and she held it out in front of her, stiffly, and crinkled the plastic wrap. I don’t think she’s aware candy canes are edible, which is fine by me. She loved just holding it.

As we were leaving Santa a giant truck drove by and rudely shouted out, “HEY SANTA!” This guy was a total ass. Without missing a beat Santa turned around and shouted, “YOU ARE ON THE NAUGHTY LIST!”

For those of you waiting for Christmas cards from me and wondering if I’ve forgotten, I haven’t. It’s just taken awhile for me to collect everyone’s address. I want to mail them out all at once because if you’re a parent you know that the few trips you endure to the Post Office with your child during the holidays, the better. I’m also trying to plan our yearly Christmas budget, so sending cards all at once will help me gauge that. I hope to get them send off by Monday. Happy weekend.

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Little Big’s Parenting, Baby, & Mommy Apps List

5 Jun

This post is the third in a series about iPhone apps I use and enjoy. This is less about being on the cutting edge of technology and more the equivalent of peeking in someone else’s medicine cabinet. Electronic voyeuristic curiosity! I’d love to hear what parenting or kid-friendly apps you enjoy in the comments.

APPS FOR BABIES AND CHILDREN

Bab Bab Lite – This was the first app I downloaded for Isobel and she has been mesmerized by it from about four months. It’s a digital rattle with some ambient noise. Babies can shake the iPhone or trace their finger lightly across the screen and the rattles respond and change like a kaleidoscope. I have the free version and I’ve been completely satisfied.

White Noise –  my friend’s baby, Kingston, has a love affair with the blow dryer. In the early days it helped him fall asleep and stay asleep. His parents, Angela and Justin, learned very quickly that the White Noise app is their friend, especially on car rides with a fussy baby. The app also offers a variety of other soothing sounds.

Scribble – Use your finger to trace drawings and color. Shake the iPhone like an old school Etch-e-Sketch to clear the screen. Isobel has only recently begun to be interested in this but she still doesn’t quite get it. I think it’s fun and am betting this will be more useful when she’s a bit older.

Youtube – Don’t overlook the usefulness of an app you already own. Keyboard Cat and other cat videos have changed Isobel’s life. There is nothing like watching her little face as she giggles hysterically at a cat video.

APPS FOR PARENTS AND EXPECTANT MOTHERS

Pediatric SymptomMD – I don’t think this app is necessary so much as it’s nice to have. Pediatric SymptomMD provides at-a-glance advice to look up symptoms and care to help make the best decisions for your child’s care. It also comes with a handy-dandy dosage guide for several OTC medicines.

Contraction Master – We used this app for three or four days before Isobel was born and I loved it. It times your contractions and records their history. Very, very useful because the last thing you want to do while you’re having painful contractions is write shit down.

Nursing Master – I bought a nursing app that was very expensive and, for my purposes, very crappy. Next time we have a baby I’m seriously looking Nursing Master. It has room for detailed feeding logs and works for both nursing and bottle feeding moms. This would have been perfect for me as I had milk flow issues and had to supplement with formula early on.

Expecting – next time I get pregnant I’m going to geek out with the Expecting app. This app comes with a contraction timer, but I still have my old one and I’d prefer a one-touch, simplified app for contractions. Expecting helps you keep track of doctor appointments, photos and note, checklists, due date calculator, and week by week pregnancy progression information. Again I don’t think something like this is necessary if you have a calendar or date book but it’s fun. And when you’re pregnant you need to focus on the fun so you’re not focused on the swelling, the aching, and the nausea.

Total Baby – Angela told me about Total Baby and I immediately lamented not knowing about this when Isobel was a newborn. We tried to record things on paper and inevitably the paper would get lost or be inconveniently far away. My phone, however? I kept that almost as close to me as I did my baby.

This app monitors your baby’s habits, routines, and milestones. The only thing that could make this app better is if they allowed you to store this information in the cloud and access it from the same account on different phones a la Grocery Gadget. This way you could record stuff then hand the kid off to your partner who will, without any hassle from you, have all the necessary caregiving information available right on their phone.

Here’s what Angela says about Total Baby:

“In the beginning I used it to track how much he was eating, how many wet diapers he was doing, his sleep, pretty much everything. Now that he is bigger I use it to track milestones, vaccines, medications, and occasionally when I am curious about the number of ounces he is drinking I will track it for a few days. It can basically hold all the information you would ever want to know about your kid.”